Drinking wine is a pleasure but to really enhance a bottle – and a mood – drink it in a spectacular setting.  Here we select five great Loudoun tasting rooms for the best wine country ambience.


Walsh Family Wine

Enter the free-flowing open-plan tasting room of Walsh Family Wine and it’s like you’ve entered the living room of your coolest friend. Leather sofas and comfy armchairs are set around low-slung coffee tables dotted with magazines and board games. In winter, a stone fireplace along a far wall snaps and crackles. Through tall windows and glass sliding doors you can see vineyards, a pine forest and mountain slopes beyond. Among the coolest touches is a turntable near the bar by the entrance: you can spin records from their collection or bring your own vinyl. Order a bottle of Twin Notch Red and hum along over a glass to your favorite song.


Willowcroft Farm Vineyards

Loudoun’s wine industry began 40 years ago at Willowcroft Farm Vineyards and the man who started it all, Lew Parker, is still at it today. While Loudoun may have changed a lot since 1984, Willowcroft has not. Step back in time in its rustic red barn tasting room dating back to 1885. It’s all rickety wood floors, wooden bar stools and an old oak counter like in a western saloon. There’s a warren of adjoining side rooms too and you may be able to glimpse the sky through the roof in parts. In summer guests like to picnic outside and gaze down on the stunning Catoctin Valley and the Blue Ridge; in winter order a bottle of Lew’s 2021 Cab Franc inside and warm your soul.


Sunset Hills Vineyard

Fittingly for a former Amish farm, Sunset Hills Vineyard hired a team of Amish workers to build the tasting room on the property. The result is spectacular: a cathedral-like bi-level barn with soaring ceilings, glittering light fixtures, an open floor plan decorated with rustic chic tables, stools and couches and a hardwood bar centerpiece from where to order excellent estate wines. On the north side of the structure is a spacious deck – perfect for idyllic views of green lawns, lush woodlands and those eponymous sunsets. The barn roof meanwhile is laden with dozens of solar panels, which provide much of the electric power used in the winemaking process. What to try? It being spring, go for the Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon.


Breaux Vineyards

Set on the gentle slopes of a 400-acre estate in northwest Loudoun, the vaulted ceilings and sumptuous European-style décor of the tasting room at Breaux Vineyards recalls a French Chateaux or a Tuscan villa. The Breaux family has Louisiana Cajun roots so the French stylings (and the red crawfish label on many of the bottles). From spring to fall you can sit at lawn tables set out on two immaculately manicured terraces gazing out on the Blue Ridge Mountains but in winter get cozy inside on plush, low-slung couches and comfy armchairs warmed by a crackling fireplace. What to order? The 2019 The Fog Nebbiolo Reserve made the 2024 Governor’s Cup Case - a collection of the 12 highest ranked wines in Virginia. It is truly world class.


Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg

Set on 43 rolling acres just east of Middleburg, Cana Vineyards boasts two tasting rooms. You can take a table on the second-floor balcony of the main hilltop tasting room gazing down on vineyards sloping down to woodland, or you can relax in the more contemporary pagoda-like Sunset Pavilion adjacent and watch the sun go down. Done in minimalist, open-plan style, it’s decorated with sleek couches, tall tables and a long cement bar counter, the backdrop to which is a spectacular panorama of the Blue Ridge shimmering in the distance. In fall and winter the space is warmed by a large fireplace. What to order? The perfectly balanced 2019 Unité Reserve red blend, winner of the 2022 Governor’s Cup, or the 2022 Albariño that secured Gold at the 2024 awards.



Cool spaces for special events

The Cave at Boxwood Winery

Boxwood Winery’s perfectly balanced Bordeaux blends are winning global acclaim, but the place to try them is in the intimate Cave room at the winery itself. A perfectly round underground cellar connected to the production facility by a glass door, the walls are lined with hundreds of French oak barrels in which the vintage you are about to drink has likely been aged. The space accommodates up to 50 people seated at tables in the very center, candles and recess ceiling lights providing a romantic golden glow. Soak up the ambience with a glass of 2020 Boxwood Reserve. Magic.




The Barrel Room at Greenhill Vineyards

Is it a cellar or is it a church? The gorgeous Barrel Room at Greenhill Vineyards in Middleburg is a soaring cathedral-like space with towering oak paneled walls, solid laminated wood ceiling beams, clerestory windows and glittering industrial-style chandeliers. Along the oak walls, banks of red wine barrels are stacked floor to ceiling and the far end of the room is an octagon-shaped “lounge” for extra privacy. They host intimate tastings for couples or small groups but can also set up a long communal table for large dinners and events. Toast the architectural wonder with a glass of the celebrated Blanc de Blancs sparkling.